Warning: Lots of talk about the subject of death, some of it specifically relating to Caemon, ahead.
Ever since we explained Caemon’s death to Curly, he has been quietly ruminating on it and conversations concerning death have popped up in very unexpected ways.
Last weekend, we were watching the movie Pocahontas, and at the end when John Smith is shot and has to sail back to England, Curly began crying. I said, “I know this is sad and hard to watch, but he’s going to be ok. But I’m sad for him, too.” Curly replied through the tears, “I’m not sad about that. I’m sad because Caemon died.” My heart broke again upon hearing him say that and we held each other and cried together.
One morning when I was bringing him to school, he commented on how one of his friend’s parents drove a minivan. I told him that parents with more than one kid usually drive bigger cars. He went on saying “maybe you’ll have another boy” to which I replied, “Nope…just you. You’re the only kid we want.” Then he said, “Maybe you’ll have another boy when I pass out.” It made me laugh for a second until I realized he didn’t mean pass out, he meant pass away. I asked him if that’s what he meant and he said yes. I told him he was going to live a long time and he did not need to worry about that. That he’s the only kid we’ll ever need.
He’s been trying to understand how sick someone must be, especially a child, in order to die. We’ve been stressing how rare that is and do our best to reassure him. He hasn’t so much asked what happens after you die, although we’ve told him that the body stops working and different people believe different things about heaven, etc…although it got so confusing so quickly that he moved on to another subject.
It is interesting how pre-schoolers process things. In this case, interesting and also very sad.